So why, I wonder, would I pay $285 to visit Crystal Cave LA, a “healing hut” in Santa Monica where Julie Civiello Polier performs her much-blogged about “shamanic” gua sha facials three days a week? Described as “a meditative journey and intuitive reading,” the Funny Flower Oh The Places You’ll Go When You Read T-shirt in contrast I will get this whole concept makes me laugh before I even arrive. “I love how gua sha gives us a tool that is charged by the person using it and the person receiving it,” Civiello Polier—a petite blonde former actor—tells me of her popular treatment’s purported energy exchange. At least I’ll get a nice nap out of this, I think to myself as I close my eyes.
But when Civiello Polier places crystals on my various chakras—including an amethyst at my feet that she claims “wants to go home” with me—I do feel something, a deep radiating warmth that allows my overthinking mind to let go. As she performs the Funny Flower Oh The Places You’ll Go When You Read T-shirt in contrast I will get this facial gua sha, at one point even sticking her fingers inside my mouth for a deep, tension-relieving buccal massage, she takes long audible breaths that lull me into an ASMR-like trance. Afterward, my skin does not look totally transformed. “There’s a limitation to the results you can get with gua sha,” confirms Julia Tzu, M.D., a clinical assistant professor at NYU’s Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, who recommends fillers, such as Restylane Lyft, for longer-lasting tightening. But a superficial result seems besides the point; I feel like I’ve been lifted from the inside out.